1.30.2012

Style Spots: Thrift Stores Save the Day

Happy Monday, all! How was your weekend? Mine was a perfect combination of thrifting, cooking, sewing and relaxing, and I'm feeling ready to tackle this busy week!

On Saturday I woke up early and headed to three estate sales. The first one I got there an hour after it opened, and people were still lined up outside, waiting to get in. This usually means the house is small and the stuff is plentiful, so they only let in a certain amount of people at a time. And as I waited, I saw three girls my age come out with stuff I would have loved to take home: a beautiful aqua kitchen cart, an old globe and a kelly green coat with a beautiful trim. This made me more anxious to get in there, but by the time I did, all the stuff I liked was way too expensive. So I left empty-handed. The next two had barely anything to sell, and I was in and out in a couple minutes, again leaving empty-handed.

Feeling discouraged, I stopped for lunch, then went to a Goodwill and a St. Vincent de Paul store, hoping to salvage the morning, which I did. Here's what I scooped up:

A brand-new set of biscuit cutters

A set of stainless steel sieves

A floral fiberglass serving platter

A camel Samsonite travel bag

The cutest little girl's wool coat I've ever seen

A Fire King jadeite divided plate

Some sweet mustard pumps

A roll of vintage fabric

And one more roll...

And a yellow lace tablecloth

How about you? Any good finds this weekend?

Linking up with:

1.29.2012

Sunday Meditation


"There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure,
but I don't know many of them."

—Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

1.27.2012

The Thrifted Kitchen {Gone With the Wind Cocktails}


Bet you thought I'd checked out for the weekend, right? Well, after tasting these cocktails last night, it was certainly tempting to call it a day earlier this afternoon, but I had way too much fun putting these photos together to wait until next week to share them!

Inspired by one of cinema's most famous couples, I came across these vintage recipes in Cocktails and Snacks (published in 1953), and thought it would make a super cute serving idea for your (adult) Valentine's Day bash. I mean, we all know Scarlett and Rhett had their troubles, but theirs was a love for the ages! :)


Rhett Butler Cocktail
Makes 1 serving

1.5 ounces Southern Comfort
1 teaspoon orange curacao
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar (original recipe calls for fine-grain sugar, but nectar dissolves much better!)
Juice of 1/4 lime
Juice of 1/4 lemon

Combine all ingredients in a shaker (stainless steel works best) and shake vigorously with cracked ice. Strain into cocktail glass.


Scarlett O'Hara Cocktail
Makes 1 serving

2 ounces Southern Comfort
3/4 ounce cranberry juice (the regular, sweetened kind is fine)
Juice of 1/4 lime (I know there's a lemon in the photo, but I forgot to take it out...oops!)

Pour into a shaker and stir with cracked ice (no shaking!). Strain into cocktail glass.

These are so delish...I do declare! ;-)

DIY {Papernstitch} Friday

{Photo courtesy of A Beautiful Mess}

Yay! It's Friday! (Party! Party!)

Just wanted to pop in and let you know I'm over at papernstitch today with a DIY roundup of winter-weather accessories that you can make all by your creative self! Think warm thoughts, and then head over to the post to check 'em out.

Happy weekend!

1.26.2012

Tuning in With


Isn't Shelby the cutest?? We were introduced to each other via Oh Hello Friend's Lovely Package Exchange this past Christmas, and I was so excited to get paired with someone who loves vintage like I do. Shelby put together a super-thoughtful box of goodies for me, including a gorgeous cake cutter that I've been using a ton since baking up all these Valentine's Day cakes.

Her blog, Honeysuckle Blog, is a great resource for inspiration, and I've loved catching up on all the post I've missed since before I knew about her. She's also on her way to becoming a mommy (congrats!), so be sure and stop by and wish her and her growing family well! Also be sure to check out her Etsy store, which is stocked with all kinds of vintage loveliness.

Here's what Shelby had to say about putting together her thrift mix:

"These songs are surely an eclectic mix, but so is my style. So many of my projects are done on a small budget, which often requires thrifting, but sometimes I just don't feel like it. Getting a glimpse of one of my favorite thrifted items (each one snagged for less than $1!) or hearing the right song can boost my mood and remind me that each day is a gift that I should use to get up and get things accomplished."




Um...aren't those white owls awesome? Thanks, Shelby, for stopping by and sharing with us!

Fav Freebie


For those of us who love mid-century modern style, the name Eames is as well-known to us as sliced bread. So I was super excited to read a tweet last week that mentioned a film about the dynamic design duo of Charles and Ray that you can watch for free online at the ever-generous PBS, as part of its American Masters series (I'm already indebted to it for putting Downton Abbey online for free!).

I know what I'll be taking a break to watch this weekend...how about you?

1.25.2012

Once You Pop...


Yesterday I got an email from iStock with some very exciting news: They now carry 114 pages of CSA Images, all available for purchase royalty free. This means businesses big and small can now use images from this classic collection of pop culture, and I for one can't wait to spend a couple hours poring through them all. You can also purchase them through the CSA site, where I grabbed a screen shot of the home decor items pictured above. It's a smorgasbord of vintage goodness! :)

Sustainable Style: GoodGuide

Smart phone apps are becoming a way of life for a lot of us, myself included. I use apps for cooking, keeping up with sports, getting discounts at my favorite craft stores, tweeting, Facebook-ing, and on and on. But recently, I've been discovering (or having other more tech-savvy friends showing me) apps for when you're shopping. The ability of the newer phones to scan bar codes can be extremely helpful for price comparisons, and this week I stumbled upon an app that rates a product's health, environmental and social impacts.


It's called GoodGuide, and apparently it's been around for a couple years already, but I am part of the slow technology movement (as in it take me forever to learn about the latest happenings). Anyway, the company has rated products for more than 145,000 companies on a scale of 1 to 10, with 8 and above being pretty awesome, and 4 and below deserving a kick in the shins (my technical description, not theirs). :) You can learn how they decide on a rating here.  

The hubs and I have definitely been trying to support companies that leave lighter footprints and give to social causes, so I'm excited to give this app a try next time I'm at the store. Have any of you tried it yet? What did you think?

1.24.2012

Vintage 101: What I Learned This Weekend

I mentioned yesterday that my mom is staying with me, which brought to mind a debate we had last month about whether these beautiful aqua/teal goblets I picked up at a Goodwill were in fact Depression Glass. Let me refresh your memory...

My mom insisted that they were in fact frauds. And me, insulted by her lack of faith in my ability to recognize such well-known glassware, scoffed at the idea and insisted she was wrong (gee, can you tell we're mother and daughter?). But it left a nagging feeling in the back of my mind, and every time I opened the cupboard and spotted them, they seemed to be taunting me. So, this weekend I finally caved and delved into the Internet in search of the answer.

I was surprised to learn that the reproduction of this iconic glass from the 1930s is fairly widespread, but you can read more about all that here. Most of the sites are organized by the pattern, so I knew that's where I had to start. I looked through hundreds of photos and never came across a pattern like the one etched in the above goblets.

Undeterred, I went from a different angle. I remembered someone commenting on this Style Spots post that the color of these glasses is known as Capri Blue. So I started researching that, finding out this colored was manufactured one by Hazel Atlas. This helped me narrow me search, and after lots and lots more photos, I still never came across anything that looked like these goblets.

I started waving a very small white flag by then beginning research on reproduction Depression Glass. All the sources said one of the ways to tell is how heavy the piece is. You would think the heavier it is, the more likely it's real, but that's not the case. The real stuff is much more delicate than the repro, and the real stuff often has little flaws as well (air bubbles, or indentations and marks from when it was being set in a mold, etc.). So I closely scanned the goblets (noticing their heaviness as I picked them up) and looked for such imperfections, but these babies are pretty seamless.

I think it's safe to say my mom was right, unless one of you can save my pride and tell me you know for a fact these are real. Either way, they're still pretty. :)
If you'd like to learn more about Depression Glass, this website gives a lot of good book references. I think I might check my local library to see if I can find some. That way I'm more prepared if I come across some in the thrifts.

Another lesson lived and learned.

1.23.2012

Style Spots: Linens and Things

Happy Monday afternoon my dears! I hope you had a wonderful, restful weekend! I spent mine with family, most notably my mom, who is spending the night at my house while the hubs is off in La La Land (you might otherwise know it as L.A.). Saturday afternoon started with a trip to the airport to drop off the Tower Sound and Vision bros, after which I consulted my trusty estate sale app to see if there were any nearby, which there was! It was a cute little house with a lot of vintage goodies, but most were a little high for my liking. I did, however, walk out with two aprons, one of which I had to put on Esmeralda (my mannequin) to show you how cute it is...


On the way to that sale, I passed Unique Thrift Store, which has been on my list for some time, but I've never gone because it's way north. So I headed there afterward and was really impressed by the size and the organization of it. It had loads of clothing and shoes, and all the home decor was neatly showcased on the shelves and in plastic bags that hung above them. After wandering up and down the aisles, here's what a snatched from there...

A super cute vintage suitcase...

And a Vera Neumann tablecloth with mums.

I started to head back home after that, stopping at Value Village in Kenrick along the way. I found some books I've been wanting to read (including a Jodi Piccoult book...anyone else an avid reader of her work?) and this awesome Samsonite travel bag in a gorgeous shade of gray...


Then Sunday, mom and I hit up four other estate sales, in which I found these gems...

Some cute vintage belts...

Some vintage black-and-white fabric.

More vintage fabric.

Another vintage flannel shirt for moi.

Oh, and more vintage fabric. :) This one is 100% cotton, with white and gray stripes.
Reminds me a lot of the towels they're selling at West Elm right now.

One more bit of fabric...

Hundreds of handwritten recipes, providing lots of fodder for The Thrifted Kitchen.

And a vintage mustard leather purse.

Last night we went over to my grandma's for dinner, and on the way out passed by her retirement community's "free table." On it I spotted this guy...


I'm going to give him a nice glossy coat of white (or perhaps a fun color...which one do you think would look cute?) to update him a bit, then add a cylinder shade. Welcome to your new home, Owlie! :)

And that's that for this week. How about you? Any fun scores this weekend?

Linking up with:

1.22.2012

Sunday Meditation



“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp,
but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

— Nathaniel Hawthorne

{Source unknown. Pinned here.}

1.20.2012

The Thrifted Kitchen {Valentine's Day Pink Coconut Heart Cake}

The weekend is upon us, and I'm getting ready to head out, brave the cold and run some errands. But before I jet off for the day, I wanted to share a sweet Thrifted Kitchen recipe with you that's perfect for your Valentine's Day celebration! Hopefully you didn't get enough of the heart cake from yesterday, because today takes that shape and give it a feathery, feminine touch.


The original recipe comes from Betty Crocker's Party Book, published in 1960, and calls for plain white coconut. But I wanted to amp it up a bit, so I dyed one bag of coconut flakes pink. You can do this by emptying the bag of coconut into a large bowl and adding two to three drops of red food coloring (I know it doesn't seem like enough, but after you work it for a while, it is plenty!). I had the gel kind on hand, which worked well. I also cut out some pink hearts from paint swatches and hot glued them onto skewers to give the top some whimsy.


The actual cake is made from a white cake box mix, but obviously you can use whatever recipe you want, just as long as it makes two layers. The filling that was suggested in the book was Betty Crocker's lemon filling, which I found online. And the icing was a whipped butter cream I bought at the store. For once I didn't experience any hiccups (knock on wood); just have some patience when putting the coconut on the cake. Make sure there is plenty of icing and really press down on it so it sticks. I would suggest doing it over the bowl so the excess that falls off doesn't get wasted...also because it's a messy job!

Heart-Shaped White Coconut Cake
Courtesy of Betty Crocker's Party Book (1960)

Two 8-inch heart-shaped cake pans
White cake mix
Can of white frosting
1 bag shredded coconut
Lemon filling (recipe below)

Bake white cake mix batter in heart-shaped pans. When cool, put together with a lemon filling. Frost with white frosting. Sprinkle top and sides of cake thickly with shredded coconut.

Lemon Filling
Courtesy of Betty Crocker
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a 1 1/2-quart saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in water. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir one minute longer; remove from heat.

Stir in butter and lemon peel until butter is melted. Gradually stir in lemon juice. Press plastic wrap on filling to prevent a tough layer from forming on top. Refrigerate about two hours or until set.

Leftover filling can be tightly covered and refrigerated up to five days; do not freeze. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to soften; stir before using. Store cakes or pastries filled with lemon filling covered in refrigerator.

Hope this leaves you inspired to bake up your own Valentine's treats this weekend!

1.19.2012

This Week Is...

{Choose Happiness photograph by sweetblue}

I've been reading a lot of Tweets and posts lately about people feeling a little down in the dumps during these early winter months. Lucky for us, it's Hunt for Happiness week! I encourage you to take some time, think about what makes you happy, and get to it! I've also rounded up some amazing prints to help you on your way...

{H Is for Happiness print by evajuliet}

{Happiness Is Still Homemade print by This Paper Ship}

{Oscar Wilde Happiness Quote print by Splendid and Sound}

{Choose Happiness print by Wicked Paper}

{Notice Happiness print by blimpcat}

Bites {Valentine's Day Heart Cake}

Last week I shared my version of a heart-shaped coffee cake as an idea for your Valentine's day breakfast. This week, we're moving to the other end of the day and concentrating on desserts. That's right...as in plural. I was a busy baking bee this week and was really inspired by a recipe from Betty Crocker's Party Book (again). It's a two-layer heart-shaped white cake with lemon filling and coconut (It's definitely as good as it sounds.)

BUT, before I share that Thrifted Kitchen recipe with you, I wanted to show you one of my own creations, inspired by a trip to Karen Ann's baking supply store here in St. Louis.

It started with some pink and white melting chocolate and plastic letter molds. Just melt the chocolate in a double boiler and pour it into the molds. Tamp it down so the letters set up smooth, then pop them in the refrigerator until they're solid. Turn the mold face-up (with the opening on the bottom) and gently push on the mold cavities until the letters pop out.


Then I made some red velvet cake from the box (gasp!) and frosted it with some vanilla butter cream frosting. Then I positioned my heart-shape cookie cutter in the middle of the frosted cake and pour some sprinkles in the middle (make sure you press them in a little before removing the cutter) and this is how it all turned out!



A little message to the hubs... :)


You can use whatever kind of cake you want, box or homemade. It'd also be cute to use pink frosting with white sprinkles, or red frosting with white and pink sprinkles...the combinations are as big as your imagination! Hope this leaves you inspired for the upcoming holiday! :)

Stay tuned this afternoon for that two-layer cake! I know you'll love it! 

Linking up with Whipperberry's Friday Flair and Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It link parties!

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